Jose Pedraza-Javier Molina live results and analysis

Boxing

Former junior lightweight world titlist Jose Pedraza returns to the ring for the third time in a year to face Javier Molina in a 10-round junior welterweight battle that headlines a Top Rank card at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas (ESPN+, 7:30 p.m. ET).

Pedraza (27-3, 13 KOs) won the WBO lightweight belt with a unanimous decision victory over Raymundo Beltran in 2018. Three months later, Pedraza lost the title to Vasiliy Lomachenko by unanimous decision. Since then, Pedraza is 2-1, including a dominant decision victory over Mikkel LesPierre on July 2 in the Top Rank bubble in Las Vegas.

Molina (22-2, 9 KOs) has won five consecutive fights and 13 of his past 14. In November, Molina demolished Hiroki Okada in a first-round-KO victory, and three months later he dominated Amir Ahmed Imam in an entertaining eight-round decision win.

Pedraza understands that a win over Molina will get him closer to his goal of becoming a two-division titlist.

“I have my sights set on a world championship at 140,” Pedraza said during a news conference on Thursday. “My goal is to join the select club of three-division world champions from Puerto Rico. That’s why this fight against Molina is so important. I know that a big win on Saturday will put me a step closer to that opportunity of challenging for a world title in the junior welterweight division. It’s a must-win for me.”

Molina said he thought about quitting the sport not too long ago but instead put his focus on becoming a champion.

“By beating Pedraza, I put myself in a good position to challenge for a world title,” Molina said at a news conference. “I know that a victory against a great name like Pedraza will bring me closer to that opportunity to become a champion.

“We have answers for anything he brings. I can adapt to whatever he does the ring. If he wants to brawl, we’re going to brawl, and if I have to box and move around, that’s what I will do to win the fight.”

In the co-main event, heavyweight power puncher Efe Ajagba (13-0, 11 KOs) makes his Top Rank debut in a 10-round fight against Jonathan Rice (13-5-1, 9 KOs). Ajagba gained notoriety in August 2018 when his opponent, Curtis Harper, left the ring immediately after the initial bell.

Also on the card: Two-time Olympic gold medalist Robeisy Ramirez (4-1, 3 KOs) faces Felix Caraballo (13-2-2, 9 KOs) in an eight-round featherweight bout.

Stay here for live undercard results and analysis.

Kasir Goldston vs. Isaiah Varnell, 4 rounds, welterweights
Fight in progress …


Still to come:

  • Jose Pedraza vs. Javier Molina, 10 rounds, junior welterweights

  • Efe Ajagba vs. Jonnie Rice, 10 rounds, heavyweights

  • Robeisy Ramirez vs. Felix Caraballo, eight rounds, featherweights

  • Christian Montano vs. Ryan Adams, six rounds, super middleweights

  • Leo Ruiz vs. Rodrigo Solis, six rounds, junior middleweights

  • Bryan Lua vs. Luis Norambuena, four rounds, lightweights

  • Jahi Tucker vs. Deandre Anderson, four rounds, welterweights

  • Frevian Gonzalez vs. Carlos Marrero, four rounds, junior lightweights

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